Buckle up for Wheelnuts! The Craziest Race on Earth! Six kooky cars, five extreme courses, one winner! Eccentric billionaire Warren 'Wheelie' Wheelnut has decided to mount the biggest, maddest, most off-the-scale competition ever! He has created five extreme race tracks: from the desert to a haunted town to outer space, underwater and dense jungle, it's not chicanes and hairpin turns the drivers need to be worried about, it's aliens and giant squid! Space Mash takes the teams to the moon, a planet made of food and pits them against maniac robots! Which team will face meteor showers, wacky aliens and more, to arrive back on Earth first?
We have been reading the Wheelnuts series for a little while. I was not sold on the books, but my daughter LOVES them. We recently picked this one up at the Scholastic Book Fair. When my daughter saw it on the shelf she added it to the pile without much conversation. Well, except to ask why she didn't own it already. So there we were committed to another Wheelnuts race.
This book is (typical of Wheelnuts books) brightly coloured. The cover is awesomely attractive, with lots of colour. But that it not where the colour ends. Every single page in this book is in full colour, with lots of bold cartoon pictures. The text is black on whatever colour the background is per page. Sometimes this does make it a little hard to read.
This book sees the teams racing in outer space. My daughter was particularly keen to see the other planets that they visit. Aside from the Moon, everything else is quite silly. The planet made of food was pretty much her favourite and had her giggling so much she fell on the floor. We also got to see one team break off from the race for a bit, which was a bit different. Miss 8 was a little worried about the cheating that was going on, but this is also a normal part of the race. She also liked seeing how things in this book have a knock on effect on the next book which we had already read.
As the Wheel Deal are prominent in this book, I did notice that the spelling of Myley's name kept changing. This wasn't as much an issue for me as I could see it was the same character, but for a relatively new reader it would have been a bit confusing. Still, as a story to read to my child for bedtime it was great value. Plus I have another kid that I will be able to share it with at a later date. We are now looking forward to book 5.
I don't know what it is about the Wheelnuts series but it has my son (7.5 years) firmly hooked. It's not my first choice in books for him but if it holds his attention and leaves him begging for more then who am I to argue.
The scene for this latest race is set in outer space where contestants must battle zero gravity, aliens, meteor showers, robots and each other in yet another high energy and action packed race. There are plenty of challenges to overcome and gold stars to be earnt which can then be spent on prizes and upgrades. This really appeals to my son because he's at a stage in his play where he loves setting and overcoming challenges.
The premise for each book is exactly the same - racing, sabotage, challenges, teamwork, etc - and it's a formula that obviously works. The quirky characters and vehicles paired with the vivid cartoon illustrations really draw the eye and activate the imagination. My son loves to follow along as I read and there are very few books where he begs for "just one more chapter" - this book (in fact the entire series) is one of them.
This is one series that we will keep on following for as long as my son enjoys it. We can't wait to see what crazy race the author comes up with next.
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